International Conference and Exhibition Centre plans unveiled
New details have been revealed about the international conference and exhibition centre due to open in winter 2023 on Gateshead Quays.
New CGI videos and imagery released today show that the UK’s newest international conference and exhibition centre will be capable of hosting up to 5,000 delegates with a high level of flexibility across a suite of dedicated spaces.
The centre will include a 6,300 sqm pillar free exhibition hall, which has the capability to be divided into three smaller halls. Alongside this, there will be a 1,620 sqm conference hall, 990 sqm of stunning meeting and events spaces with views of the spectacular NewcastleGateshead quayside and its iconic bridges, and a dedicated 1,350 sqm outdoor events space.
Hailed as one of the country’s most exciting developments, the £260m project on Gateshead Quays will also include a 12,500-capacity arena, two hotels with 290 bedrooms, bars, restaurants, and other public spaces.
Councillor Martin Gannon, Leader of Gateshead Council, said: “The Quays development confirms the region’s reputation for world-class events. Gateshead Quays will capitilise on a conferencing demand that the region has been unable to meet and showcase the North East’s strengths to a global audience. The new images show just how unique and special the waterfront site is. An events setting like no other in the UK.”
Kerrin MacPhie, Head of Business Events at VisitBritain, said: “The Gateshead Quays development will create a huge opportunity for NewcastleGateshead, increasing its global reach to attract large-scale events from all over the world. This development is great for the business events industry in the UK and shows confidence within the market.
“The new centre will provide event planners with an exciting option in an already well-established destination within the business events industry and will have a positive impact on bringing more international associations and incentive groups to the area.”
A full planning application has been submitted for the 80,000 sq ft development, positioned between the BALTIC and Sage Gateshead, with a decision expected in Autumn.
If agreed at planning, Gateshead Quays will create approximately 2,000 jobs and inject a much needed £60m into the regional economy each year, as well as attracting an extra 300,000 visitors to North East England. As well as the direct impact, the development will support local businesses throughout the region – from hospitality operators to those in the events industry.
Those within the industry have welcomed the news, Catherine Coulter, Director of Newcastle-based event agency BeaconHouse Events, said: “We deliver over 100 events annually, with 85 per cent of those in Newcastle and the surrounding area, and we relish the chance to show off our region to international visitors bringing their events to North East England.
“New venue space is an exciting new asset that helps us attract business to the region, opening opportunities for us and our clients to create events that didn’t previously have a place here. Enticing new work to the quayside always brings the question – will our attendees be able to see the bridges? – having this impressive set up directly overlooking the Tyne and the iconic views is a fantastic attraction.
“In light of recent restrictions to mass gatherings; large, flexible event space that can handle alternate delivery considerations for ever-changing guidance on social distancing is essential. As much as we enjoy a challenge and responding to the new needs of our clients – developments like this on the horizon give us, our sector and the region something to look forward to for a brighter future for the events and hospitality industry in NewcastleGateshead.”
Paul Szomoru, Director of Business Events at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, added: “It’s fantastic to see these new details on what the International Conference and Exhibition Centre on Gateshead Quays will offer. To have 6,300 sqm of pillar free, flat floor space, along with other substantial spaces, with stunning views of the quayside is going to help us create iconic events. I am particularly excited by the outdoor events space, which I think in the current climate of social distancing will allow organisers to be very creative and original in their approach to networking, social events and even presentations.
“With it being set to open at the end of 2023, this is a bold confidence boost for Gateshead, Newcastle and North East England as we work towards economic recovery in a post-covid world. There’s no doubt that this is an impressive, world class investment, which will enable us to attract bigger national and international events in sectors that are strategically important for the region. Bringing such large-scale events allows us to showcase all North East England has to offer and gives us an opportunity to turn delegates into future leisure visitors, residents and investors.”
International venue and event management company ASM Global has already been confirmed as the operator. Award-winning global architect, HOK, is designing the overall masterplan for the site, international conference and exhibition centre and the 12,500 capacity arena while AHR Architects are designing the state-of-the-art hotel which forms part of the masterplan. The project team also includes: Project Manager and Contract Administrator, Legends International; Lichfields, Planning Consultants; Gardiner and Theobald, QS; ARUP, structural engineers/ M&E and Vectos for transport planning.
For more information, full details on all the spaces and up to date news on Newcastle Gateshead Quays, visit www.meetNewcastleGateshead.com/gatesheadquays